Wednesday, February 29, 2012


The last few of weeks have been one big roller coaster full of emotion.  Ace's mom passed away on February 3 and my brother got married on February 8.  I started, stopped, and restarted this blog post several times. I even thought about just skipping over it and instead writing a post about something I've worked on in the house recently.  But I think I should write something about the last few weeks.  Doris lost her life to cancer.  When she conquered the disease almost 3 years ago there was always the possibility that it would come back.  However, when it came back and took her life in only one week it was a huge shock.  I don't believe anything can prepare you for the loss of a parent no matter how old you are. It's something I would not wish on anyone.  If there is a silver lining it's that she's no longer tired and sick. She didn't want to go through chemo again, and we all believe she knew what was coming long before anyone else did. 

Doris was a second mom to a lot of people.  Ace always refers to home as Hotel De VanDeWalle.  Pretty much anyone is welcome at anytime, and Doris always made sure there was plenty to eat.  Even on some pretty late nights, there would always magically be sandwiches or snacks out on the counter.  I'll never again eat potato salad or homemade salsa that even comes close to hers.  Since the first time I went home with Ace, Doris has always welcomed me and made me feel at home.  It was nice to have another home to go to since my family lives so far away.  Now their house seems so strange without her there. 

The visitation and funeral were a true testament to how loved and missed she is.  I haven't heard the final count, but I'm guessing there were upwards of 300+ people that came to say goodbye.  It's hard to understand why God takes the good ones and why cancer even has to exist.  The phrase "life is too short" has taken on new meaning.  

The day after the funeral, I stood up as "Best Man" at my brother's wedding in Key West.  I struggled with how silly it seemed to be going on vacation after what had just happened.  I was also certain TSA was going to mark me as a suspicious person and ban me from flying as I cried my way through the airport. (The crying was intensified by the fact that my flight was delayed and I then had to spend the night in Dallas and I didn't know if I'd even make it to the wedding on time, but that's a whole other blog post!)  I did make it to Florida in time and managed to turn off the sad and turn on the happy.  What had happened in the days before made spending that time with my family celebrating Rob and Brooke's day even more special.  The wedding was amazing, and I'm so happy for my big brother.  The week was bittersweet since Ace was supposed to have come with me.  I finally decided that it was ok to be sad and happy at the same time.  Life is too short to not celebrate the good times, and I think that's what Doris would have wanted.